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Rheumatology (Oxford) ; 60(9): 4418-4427, 2021 09 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1193773


OBJECTIVES: The biomarkers of an immunological dysregulation due to a chronic HBV infection are indeed understudied. If untreated, this condition may evolve into liver impairment co-occurring with extrahepatic involvements. Here, we aim to identify a new panel of biomarkers [including immunoglobulin G (IgG) subclasses, RF, and Free Light Chains (FLCs)] that may be useful and reliable for clinical evaluation of HBV-related cryoglobulinemia. METHODS: We retrospectively analysed clinical data from 44 HBV-positive patients. The patients were stratified (according to the presence/absence of mixed cryoglobulinemia) into two groups: 22 with cryoglobulins (CGs) and 22 without CGs. Samples from 20 healthy blood donors (HDs) were used as negative controls. Serum samples were tested for IgG subclasses, RF (-IgM, -IgG, and -IgA type), and FLCs. RESULTS: We detected a strikingly different distribution of serum IgG subclasses between HDs and HBV-positive patients, together with different RF isotypes; in addition, FLCs were significantly increased in HBV-positive patients compared with HDs, while no significant difference was shown between HBV-positive patients with/without mixed cryoglobulinemia. CONCLUSION: The immune-inflammatory response triggered by HBV may be monitored by a peculiar profile of biomarkers. Our results open a new perspective in the precision medicine era; in these challenging times, they could also be employed to monitor the clinical course of those COVID-19 patients who are at high risk of HBV reactivation due to liver impairment and/or immunosuppressive therapies.

Biomarkers/blood , COVID-19/immunology , Cryoglobulinemia/immunology , Cryoglobulinemia/virology , Hepatitis B virus/immunology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Disease Progression , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Pandemics , Retrospective Studies , SARS-CoV-2